Nfld. & Labrador

Video security system shows wrong house to customer

A St. John's man says he is getting much more than he bargained for from a video surveillance system he purchased.

Vivint says complaint is unique; has never heard of similar problems

Too candid camera

9 years ago
How a security video system let a man see inside other people’s homes 2:00

A St. John's man says he is getting much more than he expected from a video surveillance system he purchased, with images showing the inside of the home of total strangers.

"I was looking at someone else in their own house — walking around in their own house — and it's not mine," said Mayo Vrba, who became an inadvertent peeping tom after he purchased a home surveillance system earlier this year from Vivint Inc.

Mayo Vrba: 'If I'm watching them, who's watching me?' (CBC)

Vivint's cameras activate when a movement trips a sensor, with a video file sent to an account so that the images can be viewed online.

In September, Vrba was surprised to find video in his account that showed a man running in his underwear. In November, he saw images of a woman in the house.

"It's almost like watching something from a horror movie," Vrba said.

"You don't know what’s going to happen next, and you're just waiting for the next video upload to come to your account to find out how they're doing."

In a statement issued to CBC by Vivint, the company said this is the first time an event like this has been reported.

Vivint said it is investigating the case.

Meanwhile, Vrba said he has plenty of questions of his own.

"If I'm watching them, who's watching me?" he said.

Vrba decided to thwart other peeping toms by pointing his own camera away from himself.

He said he is locked into a contract, and thus must continue to pay for a security service that he does not trust.